Skip the Trip: Alternate Ways to Take Care of DMV Tasks

By: Staff Writer August 4, 2012
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Your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) really does not want to see you. They want want to hear from you, of course, but not in person. Fewer people at the DMV means fewer lines, which ultimately means fewer complaints.

To make this happen, DMV locations throughout the country have been making themselves accessible via technology. This allows you to conduct DMV transactions without stepping out your front door. This saves you not only time, but also money on gas.

Conducting DMV Business Away from the DMV

So, how are you supposed to take care of DMV tasks if you don't actually visit a DMV office?


Most Motor Vehicle Agency offices now offer online transactions.

The exact services may differ by state, and sometimes county, but in general, you may be able to conduct some or all of the following transactions online:

  • Vehicle registration renewal.
  • Driver's license or ID card renewal.
  • Duplicate driver's license or ID card.
  • Duplicate registration certificate or car title.
  • Ordering special license plates.
  • Address change notification.
  • Request crash report.
  • Request driving record.
  • Lien check.
  • Car title status.
  • Driver test appointments.

When it comes to renewing a drivers license or license plates, the DMV, in most cases, will send notification if you're eligible to renew online. Many DMV branch offices, for example, only allow online driver license renewal every other time.

Have the printer ready when conducting online transactions. In some instances you may be encouraged to print out a receipt, verifying the transaction. This bears especially true with vehicle registration.


Available phone transactions aren't as prevalent as online transactions, but, depending on your DMV office, may be offered.

Some common DMV phone transactions include:

  • Vehicle registration renewal.
  • Duplicate driver license or ID card.
  • Duplicate registration certificate.
  • Change of address notification.
  • Driver test appointments.

When calling, an automated voice will prompt you on how to proceed. Have all pertinent information – credit card, drivers license number, car insurance information – at the ready when calling.


All DMV locations accept mail transactions. Most downloadable forms – duplicate drivers license, lost tabs, driver record requests – contain addresses in which to mail to.

The mail option always exists for vehicle registration renewal.

Third-Party Services

Many DMV offices have given the okay to third-party services for handling vehicle registrations and driver license testing. Check with your DMV for a list of third-party offices, if available, in your state.

Bear in mind that some third-party offices charge a slight service fee on DMV transactions.

When was the last time you actually visited a DMV office?

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